ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tamilnad s Disunited Opposition

December 10, 1966 set-up consists of ordinary, mediocre men", for the Congress now "learning is a dangerous thing". It seems altogether fanciful to think that the Congress Party is deliberately out to suppress, intelligence and so is presiding over the closure of institutions capable of producing bright Bengali boys; the drawing up of so diabolical, almost Byzantine, a scheme would itself call for greater intelligence than Congressmen can be credited with; and one does not know what to make of the story that the trouble in Presidency College might not have assumed its present fearful proportions if the wife of the resigning superintendent of the Hindu Hostel had not been a niece of the Congress boss, Atulya Ghosh. It yet remains true that much of the Congress thinking today is rather like that of the Intelligence or Special Branch of the British days. The logic of the I B or S B men is easily summed up from personal experience: "By God, if this student has any brains, he must be against me". That was that. That, again, is that But it will not do to curse extraneous stimuli alone. The iron, one suspects, is in the soul. If education no longer commands respect, it may be because education at some point forgot to respect itself and supplicated before vain men in brief authority and even helped devise respectable clothes for the utter nudity of authority. Nowhere in the world has there been a greater betrayal of the clerks, to revive Julien Benda's phrase, than in Bengal. The predicament today is explaining only in terms of what has gone before. Many of the perpetrators of yesterday, too, were products of Presidency College, who were, apparently, unaware of the mediaeval meaning of the word "clerk" and damned a whole system of education as an instrument to produce "clerks", which in some places means shop- assistants and in others compradors. The students squatting outside Presidency College today are at once doing penance for the sins of past generations and digging the grave of those that shall follow them. What invests their present actions with an element of heartbreaking tragedy is the participants' total unawareness of the role they are playing.

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